INSPIRING: Megan Collis has started a Graduate Diploma of Counselling at USQ this semester.
INSPIRING: Megan Collis has started a Graduate Diploma of Counselling at USQ this semester.

Cancer survivor gives others hope

MEGAN Collis is a survivor. Having beaten a rare form of bone cancer, the USQ Counselling student now gives hope and confidence to others in Ipswich.

Ms Collis volunteers as a peer facilitator with SMART Recovery, a group-led behaviour change program delivered through Drug ARM Ipswich for people with addictions or problem behaviours.

"It has been such a privilege for me to be able to assist others in realising the strengths that lie within them to make positive changes in their lives," Ms Collis said.

"I am humbled by the courage, resilience and mutual support shown by the group members who may have significant social, psychological or financial issues in their lives.

"It has helped me not only with my personal development but inspired me to enrol at USQ so I can follow my passion for social justice and equality."

The Ipswich woman has started a Graduate Diploma of Counselling, majoring in Alcohol and Drug Studies, at USQ this semester via online (distance) education.

Her desire to help others comes almost 40 years after she battled Ewing's Sarcoma,

Ms Collis endured two years of chemotherapy and extensive radiation treatment.

The treatment severely damaged her hip and required multiple surgeries to shorten her right leg so both legs were even.

Ms Collis, who uses a walking stick, encouraged others not to let their disability discourage them from pursuing their tertiary dreams.

"My transition into uni has been seamless because of the support I have received from the USQ student services team," she said.

"From having access to the assisted technology room at the USQ Ipswich Library to providing me with a study skills assistant to help me stay on track with my studies; I couldn't have asked for more support from the university."

To learn more about studying counselling or another course at USQ, visit